Without Soy Sauce

Located on Old Brompton Road in South Kensington, the menu at Yashin Ocean House is based entirely around fish and seafood, offering head to tail dining using every aspect of the fish from roe, to flesh, to skin.

This approach is possible using only a wider range of seafood cuts and through the high skills and expertise of Chef Patrons, Yasuhiro Mineno, ex-head chef at Ubon by Nobu and renowned Europe-wide for his knife-skills, and Shinya Ikeda, ex-head chef at the prestigious Yumi restaurant in London.

The latest project from the team behind Yashin Sushi & Bar on High Street Kensington, hosts a dining room displaying elegant Edwardian architecture with contemporary touches including a turquoise counter made from glazed volcanic stone where diners can sit as they watch the impressive knife skills of the Yashin team.

In the summer months diners are encouraged to enjoy the new summer terrace with a bottle of sake or one of Yashin signature cocktails.

Our menu at Yashin Sushi and Yashin Ocean House is based around the concept of “without soy sauce – but if you want to”. Of course, we can serve as much soy sauce as the diner desires. However, what we want to emphasise is the taste of the fish. During co-founder Shinya Ikeda’s early days as a sushi chef, he noticed that many of his customers were dipping the rice into the soy sauce (as opposed to the fish), or putting too much soy sauce on the sushi, thus the only flavour that could be tasted was the soy sauce alone. Upon opening his own restaurant with co-founder Yasuhiro Mineno, they decided together to base their concept around optimising the fish using very traditional methods. Therefore, each piece of sushi that we serve is brushed with the right amount of soy sauce and topped with an accompaniment that harmonises with the flavour of the fish.

This concept dates back to around 150 years ago, the end of the Edo period of Tokyo, which was roughly between 1603-1868. At this time, there was not much technology available to keep fish fresh and tasty, so it was appropriate for a bit of work to be used on the ingredients in dishes. It was during this time that Japanese people came up with techniques such as curing, drying, and marinating, which would preserve the fish while enhancing the taste. Edomae sushi was made using fish sourced from the sea in front of Edo city and prepared using these same reliable, conventional methods; simply, traditional sushi was made by working on individual ingredients to find the best technique of preserving that would bring out the highest flavour. In the present day, we want to continue using these authentic methods with the modern day technology available to us; although these techniques are dated, they remain the most beneficial way to look after fish and keep it tasty.

We must remember that even though it is two hundred years on and we are able to easily buy and use fresh fish and seafood, the same philosophies apply and our techniques must adapt seasonally in accordance with the condition of the fish. For example, oysters are rich in February and March, but lean in August. Likewise, the life of different fishes vary and so the taste will be maximized during different stages; oily fish like salmon must be eaten while still quite fresh, but tuna is tastier when slightly aged. A common myth is that “all fish is better when fresh”. Types of fish are as different to each other as other forms of meat are to each other. Our chefs have mastered the skill of preparing and accompanying each fish with its own unique method and ingredients that will bring out the optimum taste.

The toppings used on our sushi and sashimi are specifically chosen because they enhance and complement the flavour of the fish without taking it away. Each accompaniment is selected after a vigorous process of trialing various ingredients to create the perfect balance. Each piece of our sushi is relatively small intentionally so that the guest can experience the mixture of flavours together in a single moment. So, do not hesitate to ask us for extra soy sauce, but please trust our skilled chefs to serve you the tastiest possible experience you can enjoy in one bite!